Eat fat to lose fat. The big promise many of its supporters claim. There’s a lot more to the keto diet than meets the eye.
Yes, you can lose plenty of weight while on the keto diet. There are thousands of real-life success stories to prove that. However, the keto diet is far more than an effective weight loss tool.
At Konscious Keto, we're commited to help you learn the ins and outs of what the keto diet is on our blog. Today we're going more in-depth and hope you will appreciate the history and background of this unique diet.
Did you know the keto diet was used to help calm epilepsy in children back in the 1920s? Or that it could help reverse the symptoms of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes?
With recent breakthroughs in the science and study of nutrition, researchers are beginning to discover the real power of this diet and the numerous benefits it can have on your energy levels and ability to live a healthy, vibrant life.
We’re going to cover all of this for you, plus show you how to enjoy the keto diet without sacrificing your favorite foods or following a strict protocol, because for the longest time.
The Hardest Part About The Keto Diet Used To Be Getting In Ketosis - Until Now
You see, there are a few new ways to push your body into ketosis while you enjoy all of its amazing benefits in what feels like a snap of your fingers.
Oh, and we must say, it’s very delicious as well (click here to check out some of our top keto recipes!).
We’ll also clear up any confusion for you about when to eat, what to eat, the issue with carbs, and how to snap your body back into ketosis if you decided to have some pasta or ice-cream over the weekend.
You see, many people believe you have to eat gobs of fat to make the keto diet work. But that’s nowhere near the case.
We’ll show you how to make ketosis work for you without munching on bacon and butter all day (unless you want to that is!).
There’s no need to drink spoonfuls of olive oil all day to get the ratios correct. Just a little bit will go a long way.
The keto diet is one of the most enjoyable ways of eating, science and real-world results back that.
Think about it. What other diet is going to allow you to eat bacon and eggs every morning guilt-free while enjoying delicious low carb chocolate mousse at night? Not many.
But first, let’s start with a brief history lesson on the keto diet and why it was developed.
The Keto Diet - A Cure For Epilepsy
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, the keto diet and its various forms have been around since the 1920s to help treat epilepsy in patients, including children.
From there, it gained steam during the next two decades until falling out of favor when the invention of antiepileptic medication became available.
However, in the last 15 years, there’s been an explosion in popularity of using the keto diet for treating epileptic patients again.
Causing a tsunami-flood of attention and research into the potential benefits this tasty diet could bring to patients.
For example, here are just a few documented benefits medical researchers discovered:
- Clinical studies have found people who followed a ketogenic diet lost over twice as much weight over six months versus those following a traditional “low fat,” low-calorie diet.
- A ketogenic diet decreased blood glucose, slowed tumor progression and increased the average survival time of mice with systemic metastatic cancer by 56.7%.
- Ketosis has been found to help reduce the incidence of dementia, Alzheimer's and memory loss.
We’ll dive deeper into these benefits later, but first, what exactly is ketosis and how can it help you?
Ketosis is a metabolic process that's used to power your body and all of its vital functions. Your body prefers to run on two forms of energy. One is glucose (carbohydrates), and the other is ketones (fats).
You see, one of the big reasons for the rise in obesity rates in the United States is due to the overconsumption of carbohydrates. Your body loves carbs because they’re easy to break down and use for energy.
Studies have shown sugar is as addicting to the brain as cocaine is to a drug user. Some might say even stronger. Oh, and cancer cells love sugar.
According to researchers, cancer cells can’t get enough of the stuff, which could cause a vicious cycle of growth and development.
Plus, too much glucose in your system could cause significant damage over time and harm to many organs. Two of them being your pancreas and brain.
This explains why ketosis has been shown to help decrease blood sugar while also improving brain health.
How Do You Push Your Body Into Ketosis?
Your primary goal is to lower your carbs to 20-50 grams per day. Ketosis can’t happen until your body uses all of its stored carbohydrates.
That said, even if you reduce your carbs slowly, at incremental levels, you’ll still start to look and feel better. So after you lower your carbs, you’ll need to increase your fat intake.
This is where the keto diet varies from other diets that consist of bland, tasteless foods.
Say Goodbye To Boring Broccoli And Bland Chicken
Instead, load up your veggies with a healthy dollop of grass-fed garlic butter or olive oil. Add some rich, heavy cream to your berries.
Keto Activate contains a triple-mineral blend of essential keto minerals and salts to help get you into ketosis. Another way you can help push your body into ketosis is by fasting.
If you want to give it a try, explore fasting for just 12-24 hours in the beginning to deplete any carbohydrates stored in your body.
The easiest way to make this happen is to have an early dinner the night before and go to bed. The next morning, you’ll want to skip breakfast and have a large lunch.
After lunch, you can have a filling snack and then a nice, delicious dinner a few hours later. And remember to keep the carbs low.
You could also try the 5:2 method where you eat a reduced carb diet for five days then consume 500-600 calories on two different days. The days can be back-to-back or separate.
Try exercising. You don’t have to, but it can help. For maximum results in the shortest amount of time, try HIIT (high interval intensity training).
To be effective, HIIT training requires about 10-20 minutes, but it’s not for beginners, so please ease in with caution.
If you’re starting, one of the best ways to reach ketosis is with a brisk walk in the morning on an empty stomach.
But honestly, the quickest way to get into ketosis is to supplement your diet with external ketones.
We’ll talk more about BHB later on, but for now, just know they can help push your body into ketosis within minutes…
And you’ll certainly feel it when this flick of a switch happens.
This could mean more energy, better endurance, and more focus.
To give you the low down on everything keto, here are a few more ways you can tell if you’re in ketosis or not:
- Initial weight loss of 3-7 pounds in the first week (results do vary)
- Suppressed appetite for eating more healthy fats in your diet
- Increased energy from the production of ketones
- Increased mental clarity and focus (your brain loves running on ketones)
- Increased ketones in the blood, breath, or urine
Once you’re in ketosis, you’re going to feel incredible. A lot of men and women feel like it’s a total body reset, allowing them to become the best version of themselves.
You see, besides weight loss, Keto-ers report better sleep patterns, more energy, and less daytime fatigue. For others, their endurance levels improve, allowing them to go longer without taking a break.
But for almost everyone, the accelerated weight loss results show how powerful the keto diet can be when you switch from a sugar-burning metabolism to a fat-burning metabolism.
The Longer You’re in Ketosis - the Easier it is to Stay in Ketosis
Let’s face it; carbohydrates are everywhere. They’re a cheap energy source for your body, but they’ll kick you out of ketosis faster than a failing student at Harvard.
Now, technically you can have some carbs during the day. Remember, there’s a limit, and you must keep this number low.
Plus, the longer you can stay in ketosis, the easier you can snap back into ketosis if you decide to cheat a little bit on the weekends.
Also, you need to pay attention to protein intake. Many first-time Keto-ers believe they can eat all the meat they want, but keto is really about the power of healthy fats.
Read this article to determine how many carbs you need for ketosis.
Feel the ‘Keto Effect’ Once Your Metabolism Switches into High Gear
You’re going to find your energy level, and endurance is nothing like you’ve experienced before, allowing you to go much longer without feeling tired.
This is why so many men and women of all ages also report accelerated weight loss. Your metabolism needs to get this energy from somewhere, and the logical place is stored body fat.
Plus, fasting will also reduce the side effects brought on by starting a ketogenic diet and help keep your body from switching between using glucose and fat for energy.
Here are a few more benefits you could notice from intermittent fasting if you decide to go this route:
- Decreases stubborn fat tissue
- Enhances mental focus and clarity
- Induces autophagy (the process of cellular repair and cleansing)
- Improves insulin sensitivity
- Reduces oxidative stress
Just remember to choose the form of intermittent fasting that works best for you and your schedule.
Here are a few examples:
- Leangains: Eat within a set period of the day, for 8-10 hours, while fasting the remaining 14-16 hours.
- 5:2 Diet: Eat as you usually would five days a week. The other two days, consume only about 500-600 calories.
- Eat Stop Eat: Eat as you typically would for five or six days a week, and fast for a full day or two.
- The Warrior Diet: Fast for a full 20 hours daily, and eat one large meal every night.
So, during those eating times, should you be counting calories? Do calories even matter? They certainly do, but not precisely in the way you think. Most diets help you lose weight by cutting calories.
The problem is that you end up getting so hungry it doesn’t take long before you quit the diet, eat even more food, and your weight goes back up.
The keto diet fixes that problem by having you eat foods that make you feel satiated and full. Even if you’re having fewer calories than usual, allowing you to stay on the keto diet to enjoy all of its benefits.
What are the Long-Term Benefits of Ketosis?
There are so many benefits; it’s no wonder the keto diet has exploded in popularity. We’ve noticed it with our customers. Especially first-time Keto-ers eager to get started, but not sure how to begin.
That’s why we created this Konscious Keto blog for you. We want to do all the heavy lifting, so you can easily understand what to expect while on the keto diet.
Now, as we said before, once your body begins to shift into ketosis, you’ll notice better mental clarity and energy.
Like that clear-headed feeling after a great night's sleep. We’ve all had days like that, but for most, they’re usually few and far between.
While in ketosis, you’ll begin to notice this feeling more often. When you’re in this flow state, you’ll be much more productive during your day.
It’s a great way to increase your performance at work, or when you have a laundry list of tasks to get through.
We’ve heard many stories from people busy raising a family, focusing on their career or doing extra-curricular activities--how they love the switch to burning fat for fuel.
They say the difference in how they feel in switching from living off of carbs to living off ketones is like night and day.
The energy dips and crashes most people experience, like the dreaded 2 p.m. slump, seem to disappear.
The More Mitochondria You Have - the More Energy Your Cells Can Produce - and the More Alert You’ll Feel...
Imagine having only one generator powering your house during a storm. You could just run a refrigerator and a few lights. Sure, it would get you by, but it wouldn't be an awesome experience.
Now imagine having ten generators. You could power your whole home with plenty of energy left over, and this isn’t just about feeling more ‘energy.’ For many people, ketosis feels like firing on all cylinders.
Sure you will be bursting with energy once you get into ketosis, but think about your liver cells having more energy.
When you’re in ketosis, your body produces more mitochondria, which act as the powerhouse of your cells. Your liver function will improve, and you’ll be able to detoxify your body that much faster. Think about immune cells having more energy.
You’ll be more efficient at fighting off disease. Think about your brain cells having more energy. Your thoughts happening faster, no more foggy slow feeling or your mind going blank.
Okay, now besides the massive increase in energy and mental clarity you’ll notice, the next best side-effect is going to be weight loss.
It doesn’t matter who you are; you’ll most likely experience some weight loss on the keto diet.
Going Keto is the Secret Trick Many Celebrities Keep Close to Their Chest
- Halle Berry
- Kourtney Kardashian
- Kim Kardashian
- Gwyneth Paltrow
- LeBron James
- Mick Jagger
- Megan Fox
- Adriana Lima
The list can go on and on of celebrities using the keto diet to help them slim down and shape up. It's easy to see why; the science and results speak for themselves.
In one study out of the British Journal of Medicine, researchers studied the effects of a ketogenic diet versus a low fat - high carb diet on weight loss.
At the end of the study, they concluded individuals assigned to a very low carb, high-fat diet (keto diet), achieved a more significant weight loss than those assigned to a low-fat diet in the long term.
Another study out of Clinical and Experimental Cardiology echoes the same results. After 24 weeks of being on a ketogenic diet, subjects experienced a tremendous amount of average weight loss. The average starting weight for all 80+ subjects was 222 pounds.
After 24 weeks, the average total weight dropped to 189 pounds. That’s an average weight loss of 33 pounds without exercise.
If you’re trying to get back into shape and exercising on a regular basis, the keto diet might allow for a total-body transformation.
One study from the Journal of Sports Nutrition found those who exercised with weights while following a ketogenic diet, versus those on a western diet containing 55% of their daily calories from carbohydrates, enjoyed an increase in lean body mass while also losing more fat.
The Ketogenic Diet is Like Having Your Cake and Eating it
Where else can you experience quicker results from exercise while eating cheese, sausage and dark chocolate for dessert?
Let’s not forget that when you lose weight, many health markers could improve as well, which we’re sure will bring a smile to your doctor’s face on your next checkup.
You see, the ketogenic diet has been found to help reduce your bad cholesterol levels (LDL) while increasing your good cholesterol (HDL).
The keto diet can naturally lower blood pressure along with triglyceride levels. If heart disease runs in your family, or if you’re getting up in age, it’s essential to do everything you can to improve heart health.
But still, there’s more. Besides indirectly offering plenty of heart protection, being in ketosis is shown to be very beneficial for those with high blood sugar or type 2 diabetes.
There’s research proving that some people reversed their condition altogether. It’s that powerful! But of course, results do vary.
According to one study from the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, researchers recruited 28 patients who were both overweight and had type 2 diabetes. Almost all patients were on diabetes medication to help manage their blood sugar levels.
At the end of the 16 weeks of being on a ketogenic diet, hemoglobin A1c decreased, on average, by 16%, while diabetic medications were reduced in 10 participants and eliminated in 7 participants.
Being in Ketosis is Like Rocket Fuel For Your Brain
Being in ketosis offers a wide range of cognitive benefits. Ketones, the by-product of being in ketosis, help better stabilize two crucial neurotransmitters—glutamate and GABA—which are involved mainly in brain function.
Because of this, many people have found that the keto diet helps improve focus and mental clarity. It’s also been shown to improve memory.
Even patients with Alzheimer’s have seen improvements in memory when ketone levels are increased. Scientists believe this is due to a positive increase in β-hydroxybutyrate levels (BHBs).
They state, “if β-hydroxybutyrate (BHBs) is responsible for memory improvement, then the ketogenic diet, which results in elevated β-hydroxybutyrate levels, would also be expected to improve memory function.”
So What is Beta-Hydroxybutyrate (BHB)?
There’s a good reason why beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) is most often used as an exogenous ketone supplement. Meaning, produced outside of the body.
As one of the three types of ketones, BHB is the most efficient and abundant in our bodies, making up about 78% of total ketones in the blood versus 20% acetoacetate (AcAc) and only 2% acetone.
BHB is one of our bodies' most efficient energy producers and is the main ketone linked with many of the benefits you’ve read about so far in this article.
Like we said, staying in ketosis can be a little harsh, but with the aid of supplements like Keto Activate, which is chock full of BHBs, they can make it so much easier. Especially as your body adapts.
Metabolic Re-Adaptation Can Take Time
Making this switch, in the beginning, is like trying to update your entire house or apartment with new electrical wiring, and heating. It’s going to take some time, and you might encounter a headache or two.
Your body has been running on carbohydrates for most of your life, to shift from one energy source to another can be taxing.
Here’s what you might expect and what you can do to lessen the effects or avoid them altogether.
In the first week, as your body begins making the change, you might notice you’re a bit more irritable and moody. Some people report headaches along with an increased need to use the bathroom.
You see, for every gram of carbohydrates stored in your body, you also store 2-3 grams of water. When you cut your carbs, and your body burns through all of it’s stored glucose, this water gets released along with vital electrolytes.
Supplementing your keto diet with electrolytes is essential. Potassium, sodium, even magnesium, have profound effects on all of your vital functions.
We recommend you use pink Himalayan sea salt on all your foods, to help replenish these essential minerals. This will ease the symptoms in the beginning and potentially help avoid the keto flu.
Now, keto flu is nothing more than a byproduct of what’s happening inside your body. Your entire metabolic system goes from burning carbohydrates for energy to stored body fat for energy.
You might notice a few symptoms like headaches, body aches and fatigue in the beginning. You might also see your muscles cramping a little, along with some constipation.
However, to lessen these effects, make sure to supplement with plenty of electrolytes, including magnesium. This is an essential mineral needed to help induce muscular relaxation.
If constipation is the problem, load up on some of your favorite green veggies to add plenty of bulk and fiber to your diet. This will help you remain regular.
But overall, a lot of these symptoms can be avoided if you follow a healthy, keto-based diet filled with foods shown to help support your body during ketosis.
To make this easier, we’ve created two sample keto meal plans you can follow to help you get started below.
Going Keto is the Tastiest Way to Lose Weight, Lower Blood Sugar Levels, Boost Brain Health & Improve Longevity
Most early adopters go way too heavy on the meat and protein and forget about the healthy fats they need to consume while missing out on vital nutrients.
You see, with the keto diet, getting in plenty of vitamins and minerals, along with electrolytes is that much more important since you’re not allowed to eat carbohydrates.
So with that being said, we’ve developed a few guidelines you can follow, plus two sample meal plans to help start your keto journey.
Keto Diet Principles
- Keep total carbohydrate levels between 20-100 grams. If you’re starting keto, start to decrease your carbs slowly until you are under 20 net grams per day.
- Try and have multiple servings of veggies with each meal. Green vegetables seem to work best and contain the lowest amount of net carbs per serving.
- Have two servings of sugar-free Metamucil through the day. This will help keep you regular.
- Keep your protein levels between 100 and 150 grams in the beginning. No more than 25% of your daily calories should come from protein.
- Increase your fat intake. At least 70% of your daily calories should come from fats.
- To kick start ketosis, have one serving of an exogenous ketone supplement like Keto Activate in the morning. If you exercise, you can also have one serving right before, for more energy and endurance.
- Make sure to drink plenty of water during the day and night. You’ll notice a flushing effect in the beginning as your body burns through all of it’s stored carbohydrates.
- Salt all your meals. Use pink Himalayan sea salt, which naturally contains essential minerals needed to support ketosis in your body.
- During the adjustment period, try and stay away from carbohydrates as much as possible until you’ve adjusted. Then - you can have a cheat meal or day full of your favorite carbs once you are fat adapted.
Note: net carbs are the total carbs minus fiber and sugar alcohols.
Once you get into the habit, being keto is fun and easy. Especially when you get creative with a variety of foods, you can eat many different options.
Here are a few sample meal plans you can use to help make this process easier.
- Meal 1: Spinach and mushroom omelet with three whole eggs, feta cheese (or your favorite cheese), one sliced avocado, and one serving of Keto Activate separately.
- Meal 2: Large mixed green salad with creamy homemade Caesar dressing, topped with salmon or steak.
- Meal 3: A few large dollops of heavy whipped cream, 1 cup of berries, and one serving of Keto Activate sprinkled in for extra energy. Mix and
- Meal 4: Grilled chicken and sausage skewers doused in extra virgin olive oil with onions, zucchini, garlic, and red peppers.
As you can see, this meal plan is heavy on the healthy fats, low in carbs and medium in protein.
Now, you might notice we’re not counting calories here because, when following the keto diet, calories take care of themselves.
Get our 7-day meal plan here.
Sample Daily Meal Plan Using Intermittent Fasting
Like we said before, fasting is a great way to kickstart ketosis when you use an exogenous ketone supplement in the morning.
This potent combination along with your morning coffee and a brisk walk will give you the needed energy boost you might generally lack in the morning along with intense concentration and focus.
- Meal 1: One serving of Keto Activate with your daily coffee. ½ tbsp of MCT oil or coconut oil. Note: if fasting, do not add creamer or calories to your coffee. If you don't like black coffee, you can also drink Keto Activate mixed with cold water.
- Meal 2 (lunchtime): Large piece of salmon cooked in coconut oil, lemon, garlic, and capers, with a large serving of fresh zucchini noodles, bacon bits, and parmesan shavings.
- Meal 3: Avocado BLT Wraps. Take 1-2 avocados and cut them in long slices then crumble fresh cooked crispy bacon and add 1-2 slices to each lettuce wrap. Feel free to add a slice of your favorite cheese as well and crushed walnuts for extra crunch.
- Meal 4: Two pork chops with green beans and garlic butter. Mix garlic butter with lemon, olive oil, parsley. Place the pork chops in the pan then add the butter mixture. Add the green beans to the same pan. Cook until crispy and crunchy.
As you can tell, the keto diet offers a wide range of foods and delicious flexibility you can’t find anywhere else.
Each meal is full of flavor and substance, so you’re never hungry while you notice the weight falling off.
Your Only Limitation is Your Imagination of What Tasty Foods You’ll Eat Next on this Diet
People get very creative and almost any food, including dessert, can become keto-friendly.
Here’s a sample list of keto-friendly foods you can enjoy so you never get bored; you can read our keto grocery list here.
Keto Friendly Foods:
- Fatty fish
- Animal fat (non-hydrogenated)
- Egg yolks
- Macadamia/Brazil nuts
- Coconut butter
- Cocoa butter
- Olive oil
- Coconut oil
- Avocado oil
- Macadamia oil
- MCT oil
- Fish. Stick to wild caught only,
- Shellfish. Clams, oysters, lobster, crab, scallops, mussels, and squid are all fair game for you to have while in ketosis.
- Whole Eggs. Nature’s wonder food. They contain the perfect amount of fat and protein.
- Beef. Stick to the fattier cuts.
- Pork. Try and get organically raised for the healthier fat content.
- Poultry. Any type of bird is also fantastic on the keto diet. Chicken thighs are a perfect keto food.
- Other Meat. Veal, goat, lamb, turkey and other wild game. Stick with fattier cuts where possible.
- Bacon and Sausage. Just make sure to check the labels to avoid unnecessary fillers, sugar, and processed junk.
- Yellow onions
- Mixed greens
- Romaine lettuce
- Green bell peppers
- Brussels sprouts
- Bok choy
Keto-Approved Dairy Foods:
- Heavy cream
- Sugar-free Greek yogurt
- Half n Half
- Cream cheese
- Aged cheddar
- Brazil nuts
- Macadamia nuts
Read our full article on what nuts to eat on keto here.
Okay, I’m Ready - How Do I Get Started?
The easiest way to begin is to cut out any starchy carbohydrates from your diet. This could include everything from rice, to potatoes, to cereal, even low-calorie snacks. Remember, you could also fast too.
Once you begin to cut your carbohydrates, slightly increase your fat intake by adding a few more dollops of butter to your veggies or olive oil with your salads.
Switch from eating lean cuts of protein to fattier, tastier sources like ribeyes, pork chops, and chicken thighs.
And also, to help kickstart the process, have a serving of Keto Activate in the morning, which is chock full of ready to be used ketones.
Enjoy, and remember, the team at Konscious Keto is here to help. Just click the link and join our Konscious Keto Facebook Group.
You’ll find other Konscious Keto-ers who’ve adopted the keto lifestyle and are loving the results. It’s a great community, and we hope to see you there.